Workplace rivalries always have an interesting dynamic. At work, we're all supposed to be on the same team, yet our workplace rivals make it seem like a competition. And when our rival crosses us, the only thing left to do is get revenge. Is it petty? Yeah, but sometimes the only way to get someone to chill out is to give them a taste of their own medicine. These folks took to Reddit to dish on their workplace revenge. Content has been edited for clarity.
The Computer “Bug”
“A horrible former coworker always claimed she worked way more hours than she actually did, and when she was at work she just browsed Facebook all day. The doctor/owner was very hands-off and just let her do whatever she wanted (despite me going to him with proof), so I decided to take revenge.
She was not computer savvy at all, so I removed Internet Explorer from her desktop and installed an identical icon that, when clicked, would instantly restart the computer. It was so satisfying when she would forget and click it, losing anything that she was working on. She would always grumble and complain about the ‘bug’ on her computer. I started a new job about three weeks later, and when I left it was still giving her problems.”
To Catch A Thief
“I worked for a bank’s education finance department. One of my coworkers kept coffee creamer in the break room fridge with her name on it. One day she noticed someone had been using it. She asked us if any of us had, and we all said no. We were a pretty tight-knit group and wouldn’t use it without asking or offering to buy some as a replacement.
So she bought a brand-new one and hid it, for herself. Then she added a fair amount of dish soap to the old one that was about half full.
The next morning she found out that someone in our call center had coffee that tasted like soap.”
Think Twice Before Being This Disrespectful
“Back in the day, I was doing fieldwork for my PhD in the Amazon jungle. I would spend a few months at a time in the bush, living in a thatch roofed hut before I would head back to civilization and restock my food and essentials. Toward the end of my fieldwork, a team of National Science Foundation (NSF) students were brought to my field site by my dissertation advisor for training. Now all of a sudden there were 12 students who had no idea what they were doing living under my roof. Initially, I was thrilled, I could finally speak to someone in English and find out what was happening in the world. After three days, however, it became obvious they were nothing but a bunch of pricks.
Here are some of the shenanigans they pulled while living in my house:
1. They found my stash of snack food and ate it. This included a bag of chips and a candy bar that my mom had sent me three months earlier. They claimed they didn’t understand why I was so upset. The nearest town was 12 freaking hours away!
2. They would use the bathroom in/on my hut. At night when it got kind of spooky, the students took to peeing right outside my door, rather than walk out to the latrine I had dug for them. One of the guys even took to peeing between my wall boards (it was a bamboo hut with half-inch gaps between poles) with moderate success. It was like sleeping in a urinal.
3. One of them ‘borrowed’ my soap and shampoo and then lost it in the river.
4. Their presence was messing up my research. I was working with a group Hunter/Gatherers and the NSF students were a huge distraction to the village and messed up my research.
5. They forgot to bring some essentials. Namely, salt, soap, rope, and toilet paper, and were quickly eating through mine. This meant that I had would have to go back to town two months earlier than planned and would mess up my research timeline.
6. They blew holes in my roof. They saw a snake in the tatch (it was a Boa and completely harmless) and decided to kill it. So they started shooting at it. They blew through half my ammunition, blew a bunch of holes in my roof, and never hit anything.
7. They were rude. I had been living out there for 11 months and had a number of routines and rules in place that they completely ignored.
After a week of getting spat on by these degenerates, I decided to catch the next canoe down river and hitched a ride with some loggers back into town. Before I left, however, I made sure to take all of my toilet paper with me. They had to spend three weeks in the field, where everyone gets diarrhea, wiping their butts with leaves and corn cobs…because they suck.”
The Worst Kind Of Boss
“So, I was working at a 7-Eleven for just shy of a year. The store was a franchise, so it was independently owned by a Lebanese guy who’s IQ was probably somewhere in the 80s. He treated us all like dirt. The only person who made more than minimum wage was the useless clerk he was cheating on his wife with, who, for some reason, made $15 an hour.
This guy never did anything by the book. If he thought it would make him more money, then the law didn’t apply to him. Nobody at the store ever got a lunch break. We were barely afforded smoke breaks. We weren’t allowed to eat while on the clock. In California, when you work more than 5 hours without a lunch, you’re supposed to get paid an extra hours worth of wages, which counts toward overtime. We didn’t get that, either. On top of that, when he did payroll, he wouldn’t actually go by when you clocked in and out, he went by the schedule he wrote. So if you stayed an extra hour or two to help out when it got busy, you’d be working for free, because the hours wouldn’t show up. Also, your schedule was subject to change whenever he felt like it. There were several times he wrote me up for showing up late because he would change my shift without telling me.
So, here’s where the trouble starts. We would take expired food off the shelves. But, we’d come in the next day, and he had printed new expiration dates, pasted them on top of the old ones, and put the food back on the shelves. The happened consistently the entire time I worked there. Well, one day, I’d had enough of his bull. I called up the health department and reported him, then emailed corporate and filled them in on what was going on.
Well, word got back to him. When I went in the next day, I’d received a ‘complaint’ and was promptly fired. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never worked anywhere with a one strike policy.
Here’s the thing, though. Since the day I started there, I’d been keeping records. I had copies of every schedule posted, and every paystub I’d ever received. I went to the labor board that day and picked up the paperwork I needed. See, when you don’t get lunches, and you don’t get paid the extra hour you’re supposed to, the labor board can force the employer to pay you the money he owes you in one lump sum. So I filled out the paperwork and turned it in. My old boss wasn’t so smug when he had to make a check to me for $2,600 right after receiving a hefty fine from the health department.
Now, I’m working to get the labor board to force him to hire me back under the whistleblower clause. If he has to re-hire me, he also has to pay me back lost wages for the past few months. Also, my old co-workers get lunches now.”
The Office Chair
“My office chair broke so I requisitioned a new one at work. It was about $400 and ergonomic, it was the same chair the general manager has. The guy who ordered the chair for me decided I didn’t need an expensive office chair and just got me the same chair that had been hurting my back for two years. He said it wasn’t in the budget.
A year or so later, this same guy decides he needs a laptop to do his job instead of a desktop. So I ordered him a Dell Mini netbook. I told him the Mac Book Pro he wanted wasn’t in the budget.”
If Ya Make A Mess, Clean It Up
“I work in retail, and I mainly work in the shoe department at my store. One day, I’m going through the aisle’s recovering, picking stuff up, and sizing. I get to the girl’s shoe aisle and almost start crying because of the mess. There are shoes literally thrown up and down the aisle, like random singles, no matches. It was all shoes from one end of the aisle. There was a woman at the end of it, where the shoes go, and as I was turning the corner I saw her throw one of the shoes down the aisle, toward me, so I knew directly who the culprit was.
She spots me and shamelessly asks me for help. I have to freaking wade through the giant mess she made to even get to her. I mean there were easily 20 shoe singles just thrown on the ground everywhere. We just don’t do stuff like that at my store.
She wants a pair of shoes, but she can’t seem to find the one in the size she needs. She’s rude through the entire interaction, and I decided I was going to be rude right back. I told her I would help her, but that I needed to pick up this awful mess that someone had made before I was able to do that, for better chances of finding the shoes of course.
So I get to work on picking everything up and taking my sweet time doing it too. She was getting super impatient and even more rude (if possible) and decided she would actually help me. She started putting things away where they actually went, and we made some good time too.
Finally, we finished. I told her that unfortunately through all of that, I wasn’t able to find the shoes that she needed, so she would have to go to another store if she wanted them. She was so freaking mad, it was glorious. She definitely knew what I had done, but didn’t say anything. We have cameras, so if she had complained I would have just shown my manager what she had done because surely the camera had caught it. She left, cussing the whole way. I felt a lot better after that.”
Pizza Delivery Drivers Aren’t Your Servants!
“I used to work at a pizzeria. There was this one customer that everyone hated. She was rude as heck and she complained about everything (every single order she ever received, she found something to complain about). She wasn’t a normal customer either. She would essentially order groceries from us by ordering disassembled sandwiches. For example, she’d order a chicken sandwich, but with all the ingredients separate and in particular amounts with cutlery, butter, a side of grated cheese, three plates, oil and vinegar on the side, ‘medium rare’ toasted bread (whatever that means), and extra packets of ranch. But because it was all technically part of a ‘sandwich,’ she didn’t expect to be charged for any of the extras and would complain.
She also refused to answer the door when delivery drivers got there and instead would leave the money in an envelope (exact change, no tip) under the doormat and wanted the driver to leave the food on her doorstep. She had weird specifications about where the driver could park (never in her driveway, only on the street, even when it was raining or she’d complain). Also, she didn’t want them to announce their arrival in any way (no knocking, no ringing the bell, no beeping their car horns, they needed to be silent or she’d complain). Freaking nightmare, this woman. And every time she complained, she’d try to weasel some free stuff out of us for next time (because of-freaking-course she would).
Anyway, one day she says she needs the driver to make change, and she wants him to just leave the change in the envelope and not take a tip because ‘he gets paid already.’ So I tell my driver this, and he says, ‘ohhh I get paid, do I? No problem, I’ll take care of it.’
He goes on the delivery and comes back pleased as punch, doesn’t say a word about how he ‘took care of it.’ I get distracted and keep working. About 10 minutes later, I get a phone call. It’s the crazy lady, and she’s FURIOUS because apparently my driver left her the correct change of $5.85 in the envelope like she asked…..IN PENNIES.
Freaking genius. I had to put her on hold so I could laugh. I get back on the phone with her and I said ‘ma’am, I think you’ll find that pennies are legal tender. There’s nothing I can do.’ After explaining that I am, indeed, the manager and the highest authority present, she got fed up and hung up on me. That driver is still a king to me.”
“Someone stole my food and my lunchbox out of the refrigerator at work. It’s a nice decent size green cooler, I could spot it anywhere. My wife bought it for me and it had a slight tear on side where the strap connected. My wife drew a little face so the tear looked like it’s mouth.
A month or so goes by after that fateful day and as I’m walking through the parking lot what do I see… a male coworker getting out of their car with my lunchbox. My whole body went numb with a cold fury.
I pursued. He put his lunch in the fridge and went to his desk. I logged into my supervisor’s scheduling system to see what time his lunch was and went on my lunch about ten minutes before he did.
He came into the café to see me with the lunchbox on the table, sitting right in front of the doors eating his homemade chicken and yellow rice, never breaking eye contact.
He came over sat across and said jokingly at first, ‘Hey, um I think you’re eating my lunch haha?’
‘No,’ I said. ‘This is mine. It was in my lunchbox.’
‘But that’s my…’
‘No, it isn’t.’
‘Bro, I can’t believe you would eat someone else’s food.’
The nerve of this dirtbag.
I lost my cool at this and slammed my hands down and monologued in a half yell my months of frustration and dislike towards this individual.
The whole room went silent and our HR manager happened to be at the table behind me took us both to her office and asked us to prove who the owner was. I called my wife right there on speaker and had her describe it which, she nailed to every last detail. I don’t even remember what his lame excuse was, but they have a zero tolerance policy for theft so they walked him out right then and there.”
From Best Of Friends To Worst Enemies
“I once started a tech company and developed a very marketable product. I was a techie who couldn’t sell his way out of a paper bag so, after about four years, I found a couple of partners to work with to help market and promote a business based on my tech and take things to the next level. They didn’t buy their way in and our contract wasn’t written with adequate protection for me. Since we were all ‘friends,’ I never thought anything bad would happen.
Things were progressing nicely toward building a business while we each still had day jobs. We were starting to be successful and edging towards the ability to make quit-your-job kind of money. After a while, my partners started acting strangely and started floating the great idea to form a new business, form a new LLC and roll our existing successful business into it as ‘one of the offerings’ which we would all make zillions from. They talked it up for weeks and eventually sent me a lengthy and confusing contract to sign. I knew right away the ideas for the other offerings for the new business were losers. I got the suspicion that the only reason they wanted to do this was so they could exploit the revenue from the existing emerging business and do away with me in the partnership. I smelled a rat and my spidey senses were tingling.
Since one of my roles was system admin, I spent one afternoon perusing their email on our server. In a matter of minutes, I found hard evidence of their plot to perform the aforementioned merger and promptly make use of a clause which would allow them to vote me out and leave me high and dry. It certainly explained why they were champing at the bit for me to ‘hurry up and just sign the new contract already.’ Closer scrutiny of the proposed contract showed that they would have been able to take me out of the deal with no payout, and leave me with nothing. They were going to shaft me out of 8 thousand hours of development time and they were going to be making money off my technology for who knows how long.
I immediately picked my jaw up off the floor, did some research, and went to a lawyer. We devised a plan for me to be able to walk away from the partnership and operate the business on my own. This was tricky and took way too much time and money because of the lack of protection I had due to a lousy contract between us. I was successful and was able to oust them. I still operate the business to this day, all on my own.
Here’s the revenge part. My now former partners went on to start their new business. One of the Evil Partners still had a day job as VP of sales a company in the same industry as the new company they were building. I won’t say who or what industry, but this was a clear conflict of interest in a narrow business space. This person was mining the Rolodex and stealing clients away with the goal of jumping ship and running the new company with the purloined client base.
I knew all of this and this was one of the reasons I didn’t want to merge companies to begin with. That behavior is illegal, unethical, and just plain icky. I waited a suitable amount of time to distance myself from the situation, then sent a package to the owner of the company for which the Evil Partner still worked. It provided evidence to their efforts to undermine and steal all their clients. Results were as expected. Evil Partner was fired and sued. This was years ago and every time I remember what almost happened to me and the bullet that I dodged, I just laugh and thank my lucky stars. The fact that I was able to give it right back to Evil Partner makes me smile. Revenge can be satisfying when applied to well-deserving pricks.”
How Many People Does It Take To Turn On A Computer Monitor?
“I used to work with people who were tech illiterate,and one woman talked on her personal cell all day, so another coworker and I did all the work. I talked to all the bosses but nothing was going to happen, she was in the ‘in’ crowd. So one day I turned off her middle monitor (we used three) just so it’d be blank and that’d show her!…11-hour days are rough with someone who could help but was too lazy. I wanted a petty victory.
The next day, I kid you not, four people were at her desk trying to get it to work (she started an HOUR before me). I chuckled and took my seat and got to work because it needed to get done by lunch. I finish our presentation, get it all set up before lunch, and they are still at her desk; it’s been six hours at this point. I figured there must be something big they are doing. I’ll help.
I walk over and the middle monitor is STILL off, and they are talking with our in house IT department and were at the point they replaced the cord and were going to order a NEW monitor. At this point, I asked if it’s turned on, they look at each then at me, ‘Of course it is,’ which is when I reach over and turn on the monitor and boom, it turns on and displays correctly…
I was so disappointed. Proud, but disappointed.”
All Of That For Solitaire?
“Every year, I go away for a few weeks to work in a different location. One summer when I rotated through, my usual supervisor took some time off. To cover the three weeks, they brought in a person from outside our group to supervise.
I was working my butt off, doing my work and what should have been the supervisor’s work. We were set up in a temporary office, with no connections to the outside world. We had plenty of work to keep us quite busy though. The supervisor’s day consisted of playing solitaire all day on the computer and then yell for an hour at the end of every day that work wasn’t getting done fast enough.
Two and a half weeks in and I had enough. I deleted the shortcut for solitaire off of her desktop. Pandemonium broke out, she lost her mind. I had to swear that I did not delete any programs from her computer, which was completely accurate. I watched her over the next few days I was there, do anything and everything to get a connection so she could download solitaire. She even tried to get AOL working on the machine so she could dial up and get it.”
“I worked at a successful tech company with a project manager, Maggie, who misread my email and got her dates messed up. She scheduled a meeting for Thursday instead of Friday. When I told her she scheduled on the wrong day, she got mad at me, and emailed all my managers up to my vice president (four levels of management) to say how much of a trouble maker I was; but it was her own fault for not being able to read, she was just blaming me.
Two years later, I have to work with her again, and I pretend like I’m all happy and friends with her.
Two years after that, I quit and move on to a better company. I get an email saying that Maggie is applying to my new company and asking if I could provide a positive reference for her.
I email the recruiter and blast all my six years of stories and block her from getting hired.”
Waste My Time And I’ll Waste Yours
“I’m a consulting engineer, and in my line of work, we bill by the hour. It’s similar to how lawyers bill their time.
I’ve been working on a number of large projects and I do my best to track my hours and make sure that they’re accurate. However, I have one boss that I despise. He constantly micromanages the staff, gives them poor to no guidance, and then throws them under the bus because they inevitably mess something up due to his poor management abilities. He never reads anything we send him, and whenever he gets a phone call or email from a client, he goes into a kind of panic attack and starts making people drop everything they’re doing to attend to his little emergencies. One time, I had to drop everything to help him rotate a page on adobe PDF.
For this big project I’m working on with him, he has me come in early every day before he arrives. And he wants me to leave the office after he does. He also wants me to work weekends as well, about half of which I reluctantly come over. Most of this time is spent re-doing work that we have already done, but that he messed up because he didn’t read the guidelines the client gave us. It’s been going on like this since June and we’re still not done with this project yet.
How do I get my revenge? Simple. Any time he asks me to do anything, I charge 1/2 hour of time. That little PDF rotation thing? Yeah, it took me two minutes to go to his office and rotate a PDF for him, but I charged 30. And on all of these really long days when I’m working 10+ hours a day? Yeah, I charge 10.5 hours. I keep on taking little bits of time away from this project. He’s the only person I do this for. Luckily for me, he does not really check the time we charge for any of his jobs.
What purpose does this accomplish? My company does not pay us overtime. However, they do give us staff engineers comp time (think about it as extra time off for more than 40 hours billed per week) if we have to work long weeks. My boss is an associate and he does not get comp time. He has to slave away on all of his miserable weekends without any extra pay, and he has to do it on his own time. Meanwhile, I’ve saved up 5 weeks worth of comp time, and make certain that I will be taking all of that time off within the next year. And yes, this is on top of the 4 weeks of time off that I’ve saved up as well. I can take 9 weeks off next year if I wanted to, and there’s nothing my company can do about it.”